Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Meet the CC Peer Advisers!


Dylan Cooper

School and Year: CC 2018
Major:  Neuroscience and Behavior (Pre-Med)
Hometown: Memphis, TN

Clubs/Activities: Columbia Spectator, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Volunteer, Basketball Intramurals, Columbia/Barnard Hillel

Favorite NYC spots: Central Park, Mudd Roof, the spanking new Whitney Museum

Top 3 CU Traditions: 

  1. Running to Midnight Breakfast after Orgo Night: Bouncing from tradition to tradition makes me bleed Columbia Blue like never before.
  2. Studying into the wee hours of the night in the Stacks: We’ve all been there.
  3. Midnight JJ’s Place: There’s nothing like it, and you can never get enough…

What you wish you knew as a first year student:

1. The transition into campus life is HARD and can be pretty unpleasant. Don't expect your first semester to be the ideal "college experience" that's pictured in the media. The more time spent on campus and more involved you become, the more comfortable you’ll get!
2. Speak to your elders! In addition to the many resources Columbia offers its students in terms of advising, it’s so helpful to speak to sophomores and upperclassmen about how they managed freshman year. Ask them about which courses (and professors!) they have taken and how their academic plans have adjusted over time. 
3. College is not easy and no matter how hard you try, there will be times when you get disappointing news or grades. That's how the system works, but what matters most is that you tried your best. Keep weathering the storm and remember that it’s equally important to go out and have fun!


Katie KesterKatie

School and Year: CC 2017
Major: Biology (Pre-med)
Hometown: Wellesley, MA

Clubs/Activities: RA in Wien, Camp Kesem Columbia (Outreach Coordinator), HEART Coordinator, Student Health Outreach Coordinator, Columbia Science Outreach, Orchesis

Favorite NYC spots: The High Line, Chelsea Market, the Met, Central Park

Top 3 CU traditions:

  1. Varsity Show
  2. Tree Lighting Ceremony
  3. Lunar Gala

What you wish you knew as a first year student:

  1. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” to going out into the city or attending fun events on campus.  Sure, there will be times when you need to study.  Too often though, I found that my friends and I stayed on campus to study in spite of an offer to do something else exciting. Usually though, we  were not very productive during that time.  Our time probably would have been better spent going out and then returning to our work refreshed and focused.
  2.  Take time to really get to know your classmates/floor mates. I was challenged far more by the views of my peers than by anything I learned in the classroom. Make time for those late-night philosophical heart-to-hearts with your friends.
  3. Always ask for help.  Your friends, family, advisers, TAs, and professors are all wonderful resources – use them!


Nina Mandracchia

School and Year: CC 2018
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior
Hometown: San Jose, CA

Clubs/Activities: AMSA, Varsity Softball, Columbia Neuroscience Society (Undergraduate)

Favorite NYC Spots: Brooklyn Bridge, Museum of Natural History, Yankee Stadium

Top 3 CU Traditions

1.     Varsity Show

2.     Tree lighting ceremony

3.     First home game

What you wish you knew as a first year:

1.     Go outside your comfort zone! Especially if you already know a couple people or have teammates going into Columbia, branch out and find other people that you can have a connection with

2.     Try not to get stuck at Butler all the time.  Sometimes changing up study spots can give you a new motivation to study.  One of my favorites is Lehman Library in IAB.  But even a Starbucks or the Carman basement are good spots!

3.     There’s a Starbucks in the Diana Center at Barnard that takes flex! This changed my life

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2458

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Walk-in Hours (Sept-May)
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.